Afternoon

Nov-13-2003
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TulkarmMachsomWatch Observers: O. L. M. A. J. AAlert 13.45 -the gate is closedA Palestinian peddler says no one is allowed to pass today, not even holders of permits holders of blue cards (that is always the case) yesterday & the day before that border policemen were the ones to be on duty at the checkpoint & they have allowed people to pass. Today there were 3 - 4 soldiers; according to the soldier in charge everyone holding a Palestinian ID card is allowed to pass even without a permit blue ID cards are not allowed (as always). Tthe place was empty, no one was trying to pass so we couldn’t verify the different versions. The back to back open space is functioning , 2 tracks in one line one of the drivers said he's been waiting for 3 hours.Jubara 14.00 - jammed from all sides, a lot of military people , about 20 soldiers, cars & heavy vehicles. The checkpoint is closed because of an explosion done as part of the fence building.(in the past I have seen that kind of thing happening) it is unclear how long will it be closed as I gathered from today's experience about those who are allowed to get permits & those who are not: 25% have a permit, 75%are refused or have refused. We were told that residents who have a family in Taybe have taken the permits. On the whole passage was permitted & within half an hour the queue was finished. The residents told us this is thanks to us as the IDF does not want to be exposed to our criticism.